Warriors In Need of Malpractice Claim

The Golden State Warriors and fans of, like me, are feeling pain all over.  With little relief in sight, it’s time for a shout-out.   IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?

A 5-13 start.  Phew.  Ghastly.  Tonight’s returning home loss after winless road trip hurt particularly for a warriorgirls2team that desperately needed a rebound.  Makes a 30 win season seem like the impossible dream. 

Oh where did this season go wrong?   It wasn’t Jamal Crawford’s missed shot at the end of overtime against a sub-.500 Miami Heat, on his home debut nite, on a 40-point effort nite.  It may have been Monta’s moped racing spill in Georgia.  It may have been Al Harrington’s refusal to play.  (No!).   It may have been the departure of Baron Davis, lack of signing Brand and getting Maggette instead.  Offseason moves for Marcus Williams – bust.  Overall, it’s been going wrong before it even started going wrong.   Ronny Turiaf partially excluded.

As the season dwindles into early December, barely a month old, I’ll try to remain positive as the losses start coming.  I’m having trouble convincing others.  Case in point, I was watching 1 road game last week and praying for a good third quarter with my astute understudy of 5-year-old-going-on-6 noted “Dad, the Warriors are really bad.  The players should go back to college”. 

“If only that could be true, son”.

And, no one can point fingers, there’s been issues from player to management to ownership on this wrongward bus.    Sure, there may be other good teams to compare – Charlotte: 6-11; Memphis 4-13; Minnesota 4-12; Sacramento 5-14.  Whoops, did I just say “good” teams? 

Look at top caliber teams and you can see the magic 5-part formula:

  1. A standard starting lineup (that you can trust) – Nellie likes to mix it up and hey, that’s fun.  It’s not fun when it becomes meaningless.  i.e. No matter what 5 you pick, they’ll score at least 25 points in the first quarter, but they might give up 40 points to their opponent.
  2. A center who can play with their back to the basket– OK, so that’s somewhat old school ala Moses Malone.  But, when I think about San Antoine and Boston, I get center-envy.
  3. A big man who can nail an outside jumper – Andris “trade bait” Beidrins has shown amazing promise, but on one and only one option – the pick and Nellie role.   He can’t post-up anyone, hit an outside shot, and spend the evening at the free throw line…unless you want a good chuckle.
  4. A 2nd half team – The half-time score in the NBA is indication of nothing.  These guys can score so many points, it’s all about being a 2nd half team and finishing mopping the floor when you go up by 5 with 5 minutes to go.  Must-win situations.  The Warriors best position is to be down 10 with 8 minutes to go.   Then, they finally get motivated.
  5. A go-to great one when the game’s on the line – All the championship teams have one.   No explanation needed.

The Warriors also lack one of those trusty veterans to control/pace/mentor at player level.  Not one to expect production from, but just help the team maintain.   It’s just not in the Warriors blood lines as they live by chaos.  It’s exciting…out of your seat (er lazy boy ’cause the games are too expensive) fist pumping action when it’s happening.   

But right now, the “We Believe” posters are gone.  Or, could just be replaced with “We Believe We Deservenellie-mullyBetter”.  And, the better likely means a good hard look at who’s managing player personnel and coaching this team.  The Nellie-Mully Show will likely be over before the season’s over.

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Dumbo Jumbo

Dumbo is the famous flying Disney son to Mrs. Jumbo.  Dumbo Jumbo.  The Golden State Warriors now have their own version.  Their own flying dumbo – Monta Ellis.  Sure, we love Monta.  He’s fantastic.  Kids love him.  Season ticket holders love him.  Opponents fear him.  He was ready to take on heftier responsibilities.  But, what the heck was he thinking, then doing, on August 27 in Jackson Mississippi on the heels of a 6 year, $66 million deal?  

The early claim was “out practicing hoop”.  Now, the full monty is about to be exposed and the news ain’t good.  We had heard that Tommy Abdenour, the Warriors’ trainer, was on his way to MS to “investigate”, but that turned out to be a rumor.  Then, 2 days later we hear that Mully has been in some sort of secret, friend to friend chat with Monta.  And, today’s San Jose Mercury News states “the Warriors know that the guard’s ankle injury last month occurred ‘outdoors and not while playing basketball’…and ‘scared to tell the truth at first’.”  A precursor to only one thing…he invalidated his phat contract.  Tagged as a fibber, but likely a forgiveable one.

There’s unconditional admiration for this kid in the Big O.  There always will be.  For right now though, could he be connected to a freakish lineup:

  1. In March 2002, a San Franscisco Giant and former 2000 All-Star game starter claimed to be cleaning his truck and accidentally slipped off the roof and broke his wrist.  Only to find out later, he was doing wheelies down the middle of the street on his motorcycle after baseball practice.  The guilty bragger and former Cal Bear – yup, Jeff Kent.
  2. A community college parking lot in May 2005 becomes the skid zone for an out of control, highly touted footballer from the Miami ‘Canes.  He ends up missing his entire rookie with an ACL injury and corresponding 6-week staph infection.  He’s a stud now as was his dad – the Kellen Winslows.
  3. After a brilliant college hoops career at Duke, he’s the 2nd overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Chicago Bulls.  Then, in June 2003, crashes his motorcycle into a lamp post in downtown Chicago.  Severing a leg nerve, broken pelvis, 3 torn knee ligaments including his ACL,  Jay Williams never played in a regular season NBA game and never will.

And, there are other motorcycle crash test dummies like Ben Roethlisbeger (sans helmet), Jerome Mathis, Jamie Henderson, and Steve Howe.

Are there any bets that Monta was whipping around Jackson on a motorcycle when this tidy mis-hap occured?  Was he under the influence?  Monta just doesn’t really seem like the motorcycle type, so these could be ill comparisons.  Time will tell all.

Some other guesses.  It’s not snowboarding, but maybe some indoor skateboard or motorcross track.  Flag football game at the ole family reunion.  Fell out of the back of pickup truck.  Jumped off his roof into the pool.  Pogo-stick jumping state championship. 

Regardless, fans will accept Monta back with open arms as will the entire team.  No doubt.  But, will he be the same?  He better be.  Will he come back with a vengence, with something to prove?  I hope so.  Will he get Brett Favre syndrome (Vicadin addiction)?  I hope not.  

We hope and pray Monta comes back full strength and leads the Warriors to a season beyond expectations (read = a fight down to the wire for the 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference).

How Much is This Jersey Worth?

My son handed over his Baron Davis jersey to me this evening after dinner.  “Here, dad. I don’t need this anymore”. 
“Are you kidding?”, I replied.
“No, Dad. You can have it.”

This suddenly wasn’t a fun conversation.  It was just 8 or 9 months ago, my wife & I were shleping around to what seemed like every sporting goods store in the East Bay, and searching feaverishly around the web for a little kids-sized “Baron Davis #5” Golden State Warriors road jersey.  The same jersey he got on Christmas and literally wore 15 days straight.  Finally, convincing him to take it off so it could be washed.  The same jersey that my 18-year old nephew laid his eyes on and said “dang, I want a Baron jersey”.

Well, after 6 weeks since signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.  I guess it finally sunk in for a 5 year old.  When the Warriors take the floor in late October, Baron will not be there.  Sure, the rest of us have all but forgotten about Baron running the floor in the Big-O, the last second 3’s, the 3’s with 20 seconds left on the 24-second clock, the I’m 1-6 so far this evening on 3’s but I’ll chuck it up anyway cause we’re down by 15 in the 4th quarter.  (Ah, the memories.)  For a 5-year old, this was the 6-week revelation.  

I was able to convince him to keep the jersey and hang it back in his closet.  I told him it was expensive.  It was.  I told him many, many people have Baron jerseys and will continue to wear them. They will.  But, the kicker was showing him my #23 Jason Richardson Warriors road jersey in my closet that I keep clean and perfectly pristine.  It is.

“Oh. Ok, dad.  I’ll keep it.”
“Good. Go to sleep.”

I guess I could have also told him the Baron jerseys are still for sale in the Official Warriors store.  50% off of course.